69 Church Street is one of the largest pre-Revolutionary houses in the city, with a grand estate lot stretching back to Ford's Court. Historically and architecturally significant, this Category 1 Georgian double house was built circa 1745, and is notable for its stunning ballroom, drawing room, cypress paneled library, 15 fireplaces, King of Prussia marble fireplace surrounds, delft tiles, bespoke woodwork and moldings, and stucco over brick exterior. The interior reflects the best of both the Georgian and Federal periods, embodying extraordinary examples of fine woodwork throughout on mantles, wainscoting, moldings, and 9 over 9 double sash windows which flood the home with beautiful natural light. The main house follows a traditional double house format, with four principal rooms oneach floor, with a centrally located stair hall elegantly rising for four floors. Soaring 11'+ ceilings on three floors and stunning second floor double reception rooms/ballroom complete the grandeur. An unusual feature is that the third-floor ceilings and windows are the same height as those on the first two floors. All bedrooms have en suite bathrooms, another rarity in a historic home. The kitchen building, connected to the main house by a hyphen and butler's pantry, houses a period style kitchen and den, overlooking the gardens through lancet arched windows. There are two bedrooms with two full baths in the original kitchen house, perfect for children, guests, or live-in staff. Located on picturesque Church Street, this house is on one of the highest elevations in the old walled city. Once you step into the home, you are struck by how private and quiet it is. It flows fabulously for entertaining yet retains intimate spaces for reflection and retreat.
This large property (.29 acre) has five exquisitely landscaped garden rooms, all surrounded by high brick walls for privacy. Heirloom camelia bushes are large and abundant. The secret garden is charming. Hidden through an opening through towering podocarpus, the large oval pool, one of the first downtown, is set among lush gardens and Gothic-Revival-inspired privies, one of which houses a pool powder bath. A covered trellis room is a focal point at the end of the pool. The far garden room, dominated by pomegranates and citrus, opens onto Ford's Court and has additional off-street parking.
The fine property has been the home of several notable South Carolinians. Likely built by Richard Capers, the house was later purchased by Colonel Jacob Motte, who served as treasurer for the colony for 27 years. Meetings of the Commons House of Assembly were held in the house, likely in the second-floor drawing room, prior to the construction of the historic state house in 1791. Motte's son, also Jacob Motte, married Rebecca Brewton, daughter of goldsmith Robert Brewton and sister of Miles Brewton. In 1778, Colonel James Parsons occupied the house. He was a member of the Continental Congress and had been offered the vice presidency of South Carolina before the formation of the United States. The house was extensively damaged during the Civil War. In 1869, the widow Eliza Middleton Huger Smith purchased the property, and restored it. Her granddaughter, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, became Charleston's first chronicler of the city's architecture and is one of the most celebrated artists of the early 20th century Charleston Renaissance. Many of her watercolors and sketches depict scenes from the windows of 69 Church. Her book, The Dwelling Houses of Charleston, was published in 1917. The house was purchased in 1969 by Anthony and Jessica Cecil, who restored it to its Georgian and Adam period appearance, and eventually ran a bed and breakfast at the house. The current owners purchased the house in 1998 and undertook extensive renovations to bring the house back to its current, and former, glory. It has been meticulously maintained. Rarely does a house of this historic importance come on the market.
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